Free SpeechNews

Nine anti-war students arrested after being targeted by Turkish president

A Turkish judgeship issued formal arrests for nine students of the Boğaziçi University in the evening of 3 April who were publicly targeted by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after carrying out an anti-war protest on campus, the socialist daily Evrensel reported. 

The students are charged with “spreading propaganda of a terrorist organization.” 

Six others, who were also brought before the same court, were released under judicial control measures. 

On 19 March, the students organized a protest against a number of others who were distributing sweets to celebrate what they said was Turkey’s victory in the northern Syrian town of Afrin, where the Turkish army and its local proxies — the Free Syrian Army — have been conducting a military campaign since 20 January. The students opened a placard reading: “There can’t be sweets for a massacre.” 15 of them were later detained. On the same day in the evening, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had publicly called them “terrorists,” vowing that they would all be found out. He also said they wouldn’t be allowed to continue university.

The names of the students arrested are Şükran Yaren Tuncer, Zülküf İbrahim Erkul, Esen Deniz Üstündağ, Sevde Öztürk, Kübra Sağır, Berke Aydoğan, Deniz Yılmaz, Agah Suat Atay, Yusuf Noyan Öztürk